Intel has unveiled its plans for the deployment of glass core substrates, aiming for a rollout by the end of the decade. This innovation is expected to be a significant shift from the existing organic materials predominantly used in chip designs.
The glass substrate promises to be more robust and efficient, allowing for the placement of more chiplets and components closely without the risk of flexing and instability that silicon packages with organic materials might face.
Why Glass Substrates Matter
Glass substrates are not just about strength and efficiency. They can endure higher temperatures, resulting in 50% less pattern distortion. Moreover, they possess ultra-low flatness, which enhances the depth of focus for lithography.
This stability is crucial for maintaining a tight overlay between layers of interconnects. Intel's press release highlighted that these properties would lead to a ten-fold surge in interconnect density. Additionally, they would facilitate the creation of “ultra-large form-factor packages with very high assembly yields.”
The Future of Semiconductors
The semiconductor industry is rapidly evolving, and the demand for more powerful computing is on the rise. As the industry transitions into the heterogeneous era, where multiple “chiplets” are used in a package, improvements in signaling speed, power delivery, design rules, and stability of package substrates become paramount.
Glass substrates, with their superior mechanical, physical, and optical properties, will enable chip architects to design high-density, high-performance chip packages, especially for data-intensive tasks like artificial intelligence (AI).
Intel's vision is clear: by the end of the decade, they aim to overcome the limitations of organic materials in silicon packages, such as increased power consumption and issues like shrinkage and warping. Glass substrates emerge as a promising solution for the next generation of semiconductors.